Pedersen A, Stanne TM, Nilsson S, Klasson S, Rosengren L, Holmegaard L, Jood K, Blennow K, Zetterberg H and Jern C
J Neurol. 2019 Aug 2. doi: 10.1007/s00415-019-09477-9.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a marker of neuroaxonal damage. We aimed to study associations between serum NfL (sNfL) concentrations at different time points after ischemic stroke and outcomes.
We prospectively included ischemic stroke cases (n = 595, mean age 59 years, 64% males) and assessed outcomes by both the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and the NIH stroke scale (NIHSS) at 3 months and by mRS at 2 years. In a subsample, long-term (7-year) outcomes were also assessed by both mRS and NIHSS. We used the ultrasensitive single-molecule array assay to measure sNfL in the acute phase (range 1-14, median 4 days), after 3 months and 7 years in cases and once in controls (n = 595).
Acute-phase sNfL increased by the time to blood-draw and highest concentrations were observed at 3 months post-stroke. High sNfL associated to stroke severity and poor outcomes, and both associations were strongest for 3-month sNfL. After adjusting for age, previous stroke, stroke severity, and day of blood draw, 3-month sNfL was significantly associated to both outcomes at all time points (p < 0.01 throughout). For all main etiological subtypes, both acute phase and 3-month sNfL were significantly higher than in controls, but the dynamics of sNfL differed by stroke subtype.
The results from this study inform on sNfL in ischemic stroke and subtypes over time, and show that sNfL predicts short- and long-term neurological and functional outcomes. Our findings suggest a potential utility of sNfL in ischemic stroke outcome prediction.